Help in the Downtown Eastside
This is a free resource guide, available in a pocket-sized booklet, that lists all manner of organisations, agencies, drop-ins & services in the DTES. Anything helpful or useful or necessary for low-income residents / visitors / transients / maybe even tourists / dilettantes related to the minimum necessities of life: Food; Clothing; Shelter; Medical Aid & Education. Languages include English, French & Spanish. Hardcopies are distributed to most of the listees in quantities commensurate with the number of people who utilise such on a regular or daily basis.
"Help" has been extant since 1991, with 1000 English booklets made for a trial run to see if anyone would use it. The response from most places was very good, and the Info Desk staff in the Carnegie Centre were beaming. "This is great! No more writing notes on scrap paper or answering repetitive questions about "Where do I go to get _________?"
There were 3 updates in each of the 1st & 2nd years. It became a matter of finding someone or thing to pay for the printing. Collation / stapling / folding & distribution were done by a few volunteers and continued being produced this way for several years. Finally, when this method took over 100 hours to complete production of the latest update, the editor resolved to find a Printshop with a machine capable of performing the first 3 tasks automatically. (There was the cost factor to consider as well...)
Current production, with #48 JUNE 2015, is 11,000 English and 1,000 each in French & Spanish. The cost of the print run is just over $3,000 - if anyone reading this has that much extra money doing nothing but accumulating interest and with an unfulfilled yearning to do something significant, please make a tax-deductible contribution, earmarked for Help in the Downtown Eastside, to the Carnegie Community Centre Association!!